|The largest airshow in Slovakia is the Slovak International Air Fest, held annually at Sliac. Traditionally, it organized at the end of August, but in 2019, it shifted dates to early August. Despite a late date change, the organizers managed to assemble an interesting line-up at the show.
The show moved from Piestany to Sliac at the start of the decade and has since established itself at this new location. Since 2019, the same organizing team also organizes the Piestany Airport Festival, but the main focus remains with the Slovak International Air Fest.
Getting to the show is a breeze. There are shuttlebus services running from the nearby cities of Zvolen and Banska Bystrica, dropping visitors off at the main gate. Visitors by car are also shuttled in from parkings around the airfield.
The showground is vast, and offers plenty to see and do for visitors, with large sponsor areas and a children’s playground. Catering is plentiful and there are large seating areas for visitors away from the crowdline. On the crowdine itself, there is a central VIP area with grandstand, as well as a press and spotters area at the right extremity of the public area. That means most of the crowdline offers an unobstructed view of the runway.
Most of the Slovak air force static aircraft were parked in shelters / hangars, surrounded by the relevant squadron members selling souvenirs, aside from the regular selection of airshow sales stands, albeit with some couleur locale.
Apart from the Slovak static participants, there was a nice selection of military aircraft from across Europe, including some rare items from Hungary, Croatia and Italy. Most of these were parked on the large ramps near show center.
Watch the complete report above (54 minutes)
The flying display started around 10:00 each day, but the official show opening only happened around 11:30 with a flyby by Slovak air force assets, accompanied by Slovak folk music. The display lasted until 17:00 and included some civilian displays, including historic aircraft to complement the healthy military turnout, which included not only solo performances but also exciting role demos by the home team.
While perhaps not a vintage SIAF, 2019 was still a very enjoyable and relaxed airshow with plenty to see and do, and a perfect excuse to discover some of Slovakia away from Bratislava.
|Report by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present